Back to: Civic Education Primary 4
Constitutional government can be regarded as government based on the constitution of the country. It can also be called democratic government. It is a government that is formed through elections. It has a fixed tenure of office which means that the government spends a specific period when elected.
In Nigeria, elections are held every four years. The 1999 Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution states clearly that elections are to be held every four years to change government. Nigeria thus practises constitutional or democratic government.
Kinds of democratic government
A constitutional government could either be presidential or parliamentary.
The features of parliamentary government and presidential government are as follows:
- Parliamentary government: This system of government is headed by the prime minister. The executive and the legislative arms of government are not separated. They are fused. The prime minister, who is the head of the executive, is also a member of the legislature. The Lord Chancellor in Britain, where this system of government is practised, is a member of the three arms of government. There is no separation of powers in this system of government. Britain is a good example of countries practising the parliamentary system.
- Presidential government: This form of government is headed by a president elected by the people. He rules for a fixed period, e.g. four years or five years. The three arms of government are separate in their composition. That is one person cannot belong to two arms of government at the same time. There is separation of powers in this system of government. Nigeria is practising this system of government.
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